Picture this…you take your car in for a tune up with a mechanic that promises all sorts of good things based on their “experience”. When you return to get your car, the mechanic says all is well. You get home, and despite the tune up the car is running worse than before. You give the mechanic another chance, and things don’t improve.
It doesn’t matter if it was malfeasance or misfeasance on the part of the mechanic…you’ve got a problem-and a decision to make:
Do you keep going to that mechanic because he is familiar with your car and claims he has the “experience” to make the car run better…besides, you’ve know them forever?! Or do you accept that despite these advantages the mechanic is making things worse and look elsewhere for help?
We have that same choice in Fairfax County, except the WaPo doesn’t realize it.
Said paper endorsed Sharon Bulova on Sunday, saying in part:
It’s hard to fault her for failing to foresee an unprecedented financial collapse that has left localities across the region reeling. And, if Ms. Bulova deserves some criticism for not anticipating the downturn, then she also deserves some credit for overseeing a long period of robust growth.
Overseeing? Ms. Bulova and her Dem majority just got out of the way and let the money roll in. They didn’t create the prosperity, they just didn’t pull an Audrey Moore and try to stop it.
But before we give Ms. Bulova all this credit, let’s not forget how according to her and her muse Gerry Connolly that wll was fine and dandy in Fairfax County right up through election day 2007…then suddenly a month later there is a 220 million dollar deficit. She might not have seen all of the financial issues, but she saw a good deal of it and chose-CHOSE-not to deal with it in a timely and candid manner. Falsehoods and prevarications is not what we need in a county executive.
But the WaPo says we shouldn’t blame them…
…Mr. Herrity contends that Ms. Bulova and her Democratic colleagues increased spending recklessly in recent years and didn’t do enough to gird for the current crisis…There’s some truth to this. Although the property tax rate was actually reduced as home values skyrocketed, the amount of taxes homeowners paid doubled in the past seven years. But the spending wasn’t profligate — about three-fourths of the increased revenue went to education and public safety. Some of the money also went to a reserve fund Ms. Bulova wisely created in the 1990s.
The WaPo defense is typical of the way this county has been run. Instead of seeing taxes as something that the citizenry trusts to government to use to provide for collective needs, the current Democratic BOS sees taxes that government deserves to have. Rather than simply saying the bulk of the money went to Public safety and education, the WaPo might endorse the Bulova efforts by noting what they did.
But they didn’t. Why?
Probably because a close scrutiny of the budget just might show that the money went to all sorts of neat things, but not to fundamental things that really make a difference. It might show that there was too little oversight of educational spending, with too much going to administrator’s salaries. It might show that not enough money was spent on salaries for law enforcement, leading to the suggestion that Fairfax County should consider providing low cost housing for law enforcement personnel so they could live in the same areas where they worked.
Bottom line-Fairfax County is not just the victim of bad economic times. It is also the victim of a BOS majority that did not offer adequate financial oversight, played games with taxes, and has failed to recognize the proper relationship between the government and the people when it comes to taxes and spending.
It doesn’t really matter if it was malfeasance or misfeasance, the lack of oversight and the failure to play straight with county residents is the same either way…and that means you have a decision to make.
Do you go back to the same mechanic (as the WaPo suggests) because of familiarity and tenure, or do you go with someone who might be able suggest something different that might fix the problem?
Vote Pat Herrity on February 3, 2009 for Fairfax County Board of Supervisors.